Buffalo Wild Wings CMO dishes on man caves and football prenups
Buffalo Wild Wings is gearing up for football season by presenting its restaurants as the place to watch live games and suggesting fans abandon their couches and their fall obligations to head out for wings, chicken sandwiches and beer.
The push kicks off this week with the 30-second “Man Cave” spot, which laments the popularity of so-called man caves, where guys often watch games at home. “It’s not a masculine refuge, it’s a basement in your wife’s house,” is one line in the 30-second spot.
Buffalo Wild Wings Chief Marketing Officer Seth Freeman admits he has a man cave but that it isn’t as good as watching at the restaurant.
“It doesn’t give me the opportunity to enjoy football the way it is supposed to be watched,” Freeman says on the latest episode of Ad Age’s Marketer’s Brief podcast.
Freeman joined the chain in August 2018, months after it was acquired by Inspire Brands. He soon hired new agencies, the Martin Agency on creative and Mindshare on media. The football season ads are an extension of the brand’s messages introduced earlier this year around March Madness.
“Running wild with the heard is kind of the spirit of the idea of the campaign,” says Freeman.
There’s also marketing around a football prenup, a joking way for fans to make sure their significant others allow them to skip other obligations to watch games important to them.
Buffalo Wild Wings’ campaign breaks soon after Popeyes’ new fried chicken sandwich made headlines, including a bit of a Twitter war against leading chain Chick-fil-A, and shortages of the new product at Popeyes. “There absolutely are wars going on out there,” says Freeman.
At the same time, Wingstop is featuring whole wings, which include the wing and the flat, for the first time.
For now, the focus of Buffalo Wild Wings’ marketing is getting people out to watch football, but later in the season the chain will put more emphasis on its food. After updating its burgers, it moved onto adding chicken items on the menu, including hand-breaded, beer-battered chicken tenders, in a partnership with Lagunitas, and both Nasvhille hot and southern fried chicken sandwiches.
“We’ve got a great sandwich, we’ll put our sandwich up against anybody’s,” says Freeman.
The chain is also keeping value messaging in play. The “High Five” spot mentions $5 game day menu offers, an extension of a promotion that began last year.
“That $5 price point was one that seemed to be attractive,” says Freeman.